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Friday, December 20, 2013

Victory for sex workers in Canada.

Below is a clip with Chanelle Gallant of Maggies, speaking to CTV news about the Supreme Court of Canada's historical, unanimous ruling today on the Bedford case. While Chanelle nails the interview, and answers the questions directly and succinctly, it's interesting to note that the anchor keeps asking the same question, in what seems to be an attempt to skew the conversation towards the conflation of human trafficking and sex work (not the same thing). This is a popular tactic used by "radical feminists", religious groups, and "moral" conservatives as an argument against sex workers' rights.

Excerpt:

CTV news anchor: "But what about those who would be exploited by pimps, even gangs… those vulnerable women… who is stepping in to protect them?"

Chanelle Gallant: "This is exactly who that's a win for. It is, in fact, exactly those women who are being most harmed by these laws, and so, as a feminist, this is an incredible win for women's equality"

Anchor: "But doesn't the business get bigger and as the business gets bigger and is legitimized, isn't there room for more exploitation?"

Chanelle: "You know, we have hundreds of pages of evidence, and frankly we have a mortality rate that shows us that these laws were what, in fact, was directly contributing to the exploitation and violence against sex workers, and finally, finally, now sex workers will be able to take incredibly basic safety measures that they were prohibited from taking, under these laws."

Anchor (looking increasingly irritated): "Right. Ok. What about sex rings? The sole goal of these things is to exploit young women. How do we get at those?"

Chanelle: "Again, […] now we've got a situation where we can actually shed light on the industry, where workers who are in situations of danger, or harm, or exploitation have OPTIONS. There were no options under criminalization. Workers had to deal with whatever conditions they were under, and sometimes those conditions were terrible… sometimes they were great, but where they were terrible, there was just nowhere to go, and now, finally, we'll have a situation where sex workers are in a situation where they can take basic safety precautions and be more protected."

At which point the anchor proceeds to bring in the white guy from the "non-partisan Christian group", who doesn't represent or speak for sex workers, to add his "moral", Christian point of view. Chanelle addressed that, too!

Check out the full video here

The fight isn't over! For more info on the Bedford case and the ruling, check out Maggie's Toronto, Pivot Legal Society, and of course, twitter (if I missed any important hashtags or links, please comment below):
# SCC
#Bedford
#SexWork

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